This category covers general contractors primarily engaged in the construction, alteration, remodeling, repair, and renovation of nonresidential buildings, other than industrial buildings and warehouses. Included are nonresidential buildings of commercial, institutional, religious, or recreational nature, such as office buildings, churches and synagogues, hospitals, museums and schools, restaurants and shopping centers, and stadiums. General contractors primarily engaged in the construction of industrial buildings and warehouses are classified in SIC 1541: General Contractors—Industrial Buildings and Warehouses.
Commercial and Institutional Building Construction
As with the construction industry in general, nonresidential construction had benefited from a surging U.S. economy in the late 1990s. The demand and spending for all types of construction in this sector was commensurate with general economic strength, measured by gross domestic product and interest rates. When the economy began to falter at the turn of the twenty-first century, the nonresidential construction began to feel the pinch. Although residential construction was bolstered by interest rates that dipped to lows not seen since the 1950s, nonresidential construction experienced no such cushion. Businesses of all kinds began to curb spending on new and existing construction projects.
Along with economic strength, the specific construction categories of this sector are further affected by a range of variables, such as demographic trends, legislation regarding public expenditures and business developments, and social trends. Private nonresidential construction in the United States has fluctuated according to the success of key sectors such as office buildings and institutions. Nonresidential construction spending dropped by 6 percent in 2003 as even the strongest sectors, such as healthcare construction, began to see previously rapid growth rates slow.
The states that experienced the greatest levels of construction activity in this sector included California and Texas.
The 1980s saw tremendous growth in new office construction, but the overproduction and subsequent economic recession resulted in such a glut that vacancy rates became a nationwide problem. In 1983, the national...